Whether we want to hear it or not—readers are only human—they judge!
That’s right. I know we’d like to forget our human nature when it comes to literature, so we say things like, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but it happens anyway. Why? Because we are all just human, and our subconscious directs more of our actions then we’d like to admit.
Having that in mind, these are the effects of formatting that you should be aware of:
When your book looks rather amateurish, it influences readers in a way you never intended to. Even though some try to ignore poor formatting, and focus on the story, their subconscious often can’t do the same—it gets agitated.
Formatting inconsistencies hijack attention, making people hyperaware of every typo, missing quote, and forgotten comma—ultimately fragmenting their reading process as if thorns were poking them in the eyes.
After such an awful reading experience, of course, they might be less forgiving about typos, and harsher in writing reviews.
When your book looks professional, the reader can relax, and dedicate full attention to the story.
Professional layout provides good reading experience across multiple devices, and doesn’t interfere with the reading process. Rhythmic exchange of consistent paragraph styles, stylistic elements, and white space, speak to the subconscious in a positive way, complementing the story instead of hijacking it.
After an enjoyable reading experience, the reader might be more inclined to forgive a few typos, and leave a more favorable review.
In short, unprofessional formatting is like trying to concentrate on reading a book in a very loud and chaotic environment. The music is blaring, you can barely hear your own thoughts, there’s someone yelling on their cell-phone two feet away from you, and some kid keeps hitting you with a ball. You might be one of those people that can concentrate in such a situation, but most can’t. Most will lose their cool.
Thanks for reading!